see comments for updates on research on issue

I'm fiddling with ffmpeg, ffserver a webcam and Debian Wheezy in order to stream video content. I am able to watch my webcam's footage via mplayer, using:

mplayer -fps 30 -tv driver=v4l2:width=640:height=480:device=/dev/video0 tv://

Also I am able to start the ffserver, using the default ffserver.conf, obtained from here:


ffserver -d -f /etc/ffserver.conf

I understand that I need to have ffmpeg convert the webcam's input into a usable format for the feed I have defined in ffserver.conf. In order to do so I use:

ffmpeg -f video4linux2 -i /dev/video0 /tmp/feed1.ffm

Starting this the system asks whether or not to overwrite the existing file, I answer Y and the system starts streaming to that file.

However, clicking on the relevant stream (mpg) on localhost:8090/stat.html times out without showing any content, also ffserver does not display errors - yet started in -d debug mode.

I suspect I miss the essential final part in connecting the feed provided by ffmpeg with the streaming capability of ffserver.

Any hint would be highly appreciated.

  • Them excellent folks at #ffmpeg on freenode have helped me to get closer to resolving this. First thing: ffmpeg -f ... must not point to the local file but to IP:port/feed1.ffm, also they advised to compile ffmpeg from scratch - which I did: new ffmpeg command I'm working with: ffmpeg -f video4linux2 -i /dev/video0 -f lavfi -i aevalsrc=0 -b:a 32k -c:a libmp3lame - new error message: Error while opening encoder for output stream #0:1 - maybe incorrect parameters such as bit_rate, rate, width or height. Any thoughts, anyone? Thanks!
    – KB22
    Dec 26, 2014 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


After having followed the steps I have learned on #ffmpeg I eventually got this going - bottom line of things to do:

Very helpful read: https://www.virag.si/2012/11/streaming-live-webm-video-with-ffmpeg/

After having achieved this I found a fairly interesting project on this topic, Zoneminder (http://www.zoneminder.com) - straight forward, easy to use - did the trick for my use case like a charm. Great stuff.

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